« Freakonomics Radio

263. In Praise of Maintenance

2016-10-20 | 🔗
Has our culture's obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?
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small injury or a complex issue. It's time to get moving again. Call Cooper today to make an appointment with our nationally recognised orthopedic team for committed, compassionate and complete orthopedic care, call eight five, six five, three six one: two: zero five or visit Cooper Health DOT, Org, Slash orthopedics, while back I got obsessed with the notion of maintenance really notion of how much time maintenance takes. You go to the gym to maintain your body, so it can do what you needed to do maybe go to a doctor and a dentist in a therapist to you spend a third of your life
leaping your brain- can do what it needs to do and think about all the time and resources that go into maintaining your work, life, leading them memos productivity, apps course. There's also your personal life. To maintain. I get so obsessed with the burden of all this maintenance that I decided to precisely track how many minutes I was spending of each day and different forms of maintenance verses, all the other things I was trying to accomplish after just a couple days. I quit this ridiculous exercise because it had become just another maintenance task that kept me from doing the stuff. I really want to be doing. I decided that maintenance was simply a curse had become outdated, that unless I thought about it, the happier I'd be and then I read
thing they changed. My mind completely are thesis, basically, is that our culture is obsession with innovation and high has led us to neglect maintenance and maintain ers. Today, on economics, radio, in praise of maintenance, Because it is not only a need for a certain nobility in taking care of what you already created, and maybe we shouldn't look at maintenance as the enemy of I think a great nation to walk into gum at the same time, for we I'm happy from W and Y see studios. This is free economic, radio, the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your house, Stephen Dogma, there is a digital man
Being called on a o n that publishes essays about ideas and culture Just as I was having my personal crisis about the burden of maintenance, I came across a fascinating peace in an called hail. The maintain hers. The subtitle capitalism excels at innovation, but is failing at maintenance and for most lie. It is maintenance that matters more ok, I'm leavin saw- and my name is Andy Russell. They are the co authors of the Aeon s Vincent first, I'm assistant, professor of science and technology studies at Stevens instituted
biology and trained as a historian and most my work looks at the relationship between government policy in science and technology. Russell is also a historian with a focus on technology and governance. He's dean of a college of arts and Sciences at Sunni Polly institute. He invincible had already come to believe that the american embrace of innovation had led to hear a quote them: a mountain of dubious scholarship and magical thinking, and then Walter Isaacson published a book called the innovators how a group of hackers geniuses in geeks created the digital revolution. Basically, Andy wrote me in a friend a kind of joke email saying we should answer with a book called the maintainer is how bureaucrats
standards. Engineers and introvert create technologies that kind of work most of the time, and then we just decided delay it out really clearly in, and I say so examining where innovation rhetoric came from, what we call innovation speak and then laying out a or grounded vision of human life with technology alaskan impossibly broad question sort with how much are we, I guess, hurting ourselves or missing out on society Weis globally, if it gets more impossible to answer by the moment by failing to appreciate the value of maintenance at the expense of innovation. It's a good question. It's a broad question, One thing that we insist that important isn't that we need to do only maintenance and get rid of innovation. We both appreciate innovation and creativity and new stuff. So there's no argument there. I think in paying it more
tension to maintenance and maintains its really signalling a shift in values way from glittery new things, consumer culture in those sorts of things and toward work towards labour towards maybe even sacrifice in the form of of taxes or effort to sustain society and to pay a little bit more respect to the people whose jobs do that you know they're, not superstars. There does grinding in our day to day, but I guess one of my counters that argument- and maybe I've just been brainwashed by the innovation crowd- is that well one of the promises of technology is that it would eliminate the need for much her. In some cases, all of that kind of hand, made maintenance. So if you're talkin about something literally like a cleaning person, a janitor someone who comes along to a public restroom in an airport, you know eight slash twelve fifteen times a day to clean it up,
I think, wool. Don't I want the much vaunted self cleaning bathroom that? It was tat he be here by now, wouldn't that technology, if it worked well, be better because it would aid do a good job, and be not require people to do that kind of work. So? Why are you making the argument that kind of work is so important? Is it really a moral argument? It is a moral argument, that's true, but I think we also need to just take stock of where we're at we live in a moment where lots of people are writing and talking about robots and artificial intelligence and all these mission ends and technologies. They're gonna come along in replace drudgery right. We're not gonna have to worry about that stuff anymore.
but you know I can show you movies, put out by general motors from nineteen fifty five that show the kitchen of the future. That's not gonna involve any labour for women right and that didn't come true and we have to be sober and say yes these things might come and that wouldn't be bad ADI great. But we can't pretend that we can just forget about all the labour. That's going on right now and is probably going to continue going on for the foreseeable future. people always think about. What's new people, always about what can be name. That is the Harvard economist, Larry Summers who served as the President of Harvard as the U S, Treasury, Secretary chief economist of the World Bank and its President Obama. top economic adviser, people always think more about How new ground can be broken, then they think about how existing
institutions can be sustained or existing subsidies can be maintained. It Lee It's too constant. tribe where we under invest in old things than old things, disappoint us. Then we feel the need for new things than to satisfy that for new things. We under invest more in old things, and this It goes on you see it in the fact that we pay forty cents, the equivalent of forty cents a day Olenin gasoline taxes for extra repairs do the fact that we're not mean our highways right, see it in air traffic control system in the United States that still uses obsolete technologies and doesn't use gps and, as a consequence, we all and more time with air traffic delays we burn. Huge amounts more energy. We take greater safety,
risks than we need to. You see it in developing countries where there are always building new facilities, but then years later, this facility said a sense of DIS repair. I think the fetters of novelty and the like glamour of me. caning in sustaining things, a besetting problem. one very important area where you see this in the area of philanthropy wherever they always wants to start a new institution to do something new and then being analyse and then have others thunder institution will not. Everybody can be the one who levers other money. Some have to delivered, so I think it as lead to a fragmentation, it does
led to returns are lower than they need to be it in cases. the EU s public sector. It can lead to tragic under investment. Ok, so let's do a brief history of maintenance. Will talk about our cities are home. Our infrastructure, even how modern investors think about maintenance, verses, innovation. Let's start way back here Certainly Rome understood the engineer. during an infrastructure was a huge part of making its city function and it not only invested, in Rome but exported it elsewhere, but Ed Glaser, another harboured economist, so sewerage starts with it maximum in the sixth century before the common era and that's associated with the last of the dark when kings, the Etruscans, the cloak Maxima was one of the world's first sue.
systems. It was maintained. There were people like Cato the elder, who is particularly fame for uttering that Carthage must be destroyed. Belinda Carthage GO asked at the end. Every speech he was also heavily involved in water and sewage. They this A single minded passion for the for the good of the republic translated into caring about infrastructure, any made it one of his his pet themes. It was also an Augustine theme is well run. Augusta's wanted to be remembered for taking a city of brick and leaving it. Did he of marble, but he was also attentive to the water and sewage maintenance side of things. Of course, Rome also was interesting and they had they weren't rich by modern standards me
the per capita income in modern dollars run fifteen hundred, but they had remarkable government capacity. Glaser, we should say, is an expert on cities and also thinks it. Cities are the best things that humans have ever come up with. He's the author of a book called triumph of the city. How our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier and happier if, at all of these old imperial cities, had remarkable government capacities, That's all you got to be an imperial setting out of a government that was able to subdue all your neighbors, so Julius Caesar was actually able to help the roads function by stopping wheeled traffic from entering the city for the first ten hours of every day, which helps in the maintenance side as well. That's not a substitute for four repaving the roads,
so cities are inherently dense, which means that a problem, whether its trash or crime or bad streets or sidewalks, can affect a lot of people in a hurry to talk to me about the importance of maintenance, especially physical infrastructure, making its especially in a city o absolutely its both the fact that any problem can be magnified and the fact that just proximity itself, creates downtown tried. Proximity means that someone's bacteria are are more likely to affect you. Proximity means we're all sharing the same matter, road space and consequently trained gobble up the same real estate and and facing the downside of congestion and, of course, density also makes it easier for one person to to steal from one another
and on top of course, creating congestion or those drivers and city streets where down the infrastructure, which is why we so often think of city streets is being places that are full of potholes are full of other problems, so cities need infrastructure of a variety of different forms and that infrastructure needs to be maintained and making sure that you have the institutions in place that can provide at least a modicum of maintenance is really crucial to making sit. life's work Glaser recently spent time in the Philippines learning how Manila deals with sewage short answer, not nearly as well as ancient Rome. These are set. tanks that flow right through pipes right into a sort of mean corridors. The course through the city and often end up in the bay and the septic tanks, are typically in the house beneath the kitchen
apps outside maybe on the on the driveway and the big project that the water companies which took care of the sewerage than the septic tanks were involved in doing is trying to get people to clean out their septic tanks, and the people wasn't that the water companies weren't willing to provided the people often didn't even want it right to they'd. Let me go thirty or forty years without any form of cleaning up the septic tanks without any dislodging, and the people were pushing against having a cleaned up because to get to it, you need to tear up someone's kitchen and they didn't see the upside of of moving it. It really and consequently, that a whole public health issue related threat that more filth spewing out through these pipes into the common areas, so that problem
internet is really huge in this area, so in a case like that, what's a solution other than building infrastructure, like aseptic tank in a way, a regionally that it doesn't require. He no disrupting your life later on certainly designing infrastructure from the beginning, so that it is made in its friendly is surely the right way to go as the lower the costs can possibly be. before the large scale entity that has demanded, but also for the individual, the has to put up with the inconvenience that clearly important, but on top of at when you're. Looking at maintenance, that's required to keep a city healthy, I'm a big fan, having some form of regulation and fine in place. Look I mean I'm up. As you know, I'm Chicago Phd lots of areas of our lives over regulated. I think entrepreneurship is over regulated but very areas like maintaining public health, where I think it's just
regulations and small finds that are put in place a people. She don't do basic task like dislodging that are required for the public good I asked Glaser to name a modern city that gets maintenance right. The meritocracy that Singapore is quite impressive on maintenance site This is no longer a new city, and yet it still feels clean still feels well taken care of, and I think part of it is just they have enough smart people and government for whom this is their job and that they continue to focus on this. I think it's an old. Question as to whether not all the shiny things that are being built in China will, where all that well or will be protected. I think we still have to ask to see on that. So women happens well weather in modern Singapore or ancient Rome. Is it more of a function of design that was able to be maintained relatively easily or cost effectively? Or is it a kind of conscious devotion to make
It's that many individuals or nations just fail to factory in or budget. Well, I think and in both the sample Enron case there are leaders whom make it their job and some in the case of Cato presumably thought that there was popularity, be gained by sticking up for the old Omen for maintaining roman virtues, including decent infrastructure in most of the roman infrastructure, looks pretty simple for a modern perspective in concert it would have been easier to maintain them than a more complicated infrastructure, but that that raises sort of larger technological change issue it, which is that the as the world becomes more complicated infrastructure, becomes a complicated there. More ways that can potentially go wrong and maintenance of anything becomes even more important. So in a simpler world, maintenance was easier to get add that it is in the more complex one
today. I think we should be talking about what is the value of engineering leave Insel again from the Stevens Institute, technology. The value of engineering is much more than just innovation and new things focusing on taking care of the world rather than just creating the new fifty thing that's going to solve all our problems. If you look at what engineers do in the world, like seventy, two to eighty percent of them, spend most of their time just keeping things going right So this comes down to engineering education to when were forcing entrepreneurship and innovation, as the message is that were just kind of skewing reality for young people and
not giving them a real picture would also not valuing the work that they're probably going to do in their life. That seems to me just to be kind of bad idea. So all you guys need to do is make maintenance sexy for the american public and for politicians and policymakers. Do you have any plans how you gonna, pull it off? Yeah we're gonna come up with some slogans. Like means ovation,
we have, but we're gonna have professional wrestlers dance in front of bridges in their efforts off every four years. The american society of civil engineers puts out report card on physical infrastructure in the United States on the most recent report card. Our overall grade was a deep plus of the sixteen categories. It got a letter, great only solid waste scored higher than a sea gotta, be minus transit, gotta de roads, Adee drinking water, Adee bridges, a sea plus. I went back to add Glaser about this lousy report card. This is the United States of America, economic superpower. So what the? What? How has this happened? Where I think the first thing we should do is we should be a little bit
worry about infrastructure groups. That issue report cards that up with whose ultimate bottom line is that trillions must be spent in their industry. But that being said, there are obviously real issues around America infrastructure and what I worry about is that the answer to this will be just big checks caught in Washington, and I cannot imagine the thats the right solution. I can certainly point to a bridge that crosses the trolls river near me, which has been going on was initiated in part because the promise of a federal dollars that is awfully hard to see the value that we got from four years of disruption for allegedly may, this bridge and improving its a remarkable and not a very happy tail. That's Larry Summers again: the Andersson Bridge connects Harvard Square with the city of Boston. It connects different parts of the Harvard Campus it Sir seventy five yards from my office, the bridge is too
thirty two feet long. It has been under repair now for four and a half years to put that in some kind of perspective, Julius Caesar, bridge over a span of the Rhine. There was two hundred and thirty two feet over a thousand feet, and he did it in nine days, and that was what the technology, she's that were available before Christ today, We surely should be able to do much better in fact, two hundred years ago, bridge, we're trying to repair and have been preparing for four and a half years was built in less than one year from nothing, was much earlier technologies. So what accounts for the story the delay was a combination of environmental requirements, historical requirements and just plain incompetence, there were permitting issues multiple redesigned
and in addition to the time overran, there were big cost overruns, which Larry Summers points out, doesn't even factor in all the costs Look, you do calculations, the arab all the thousands of cars to go across it you back the time that people suffer, the delay, because the bridges in disrepair, because the process of preparing it takes forever figure out what people's times were you now we value added fifteen dollars an hour. I certainly pay much more than five. Dollars an hour to avoid being stuck in traffic jams off It ends up that big infrastructure investments. We'll pay for themselves right out just, and
aims of avoiding the delays that people suffer. The Andersson bridge is, of course, just one of many thousands of american bridges in desperate need of repair. Summers argues that forestalling such maintenance has a larger drag on the economy than you might think. Infrastructures, the right thing in the short run for the United States, because it puts people to work in a substantial scale.
right thing in the medium term, because it expands the capacity of our economy and it's the right thing in the long run, because it takes a burn north of our children. We will eventually, as a country Fix Kennedy, airport it'll just be much more expensive if we delay and the cost of fixing Kennedy Airport will compound that a far greater rate than the one and a half per cent in bonds, we print ourselves that represents the yield today. On long term, U S, government was the New York. Airports are often used as being the textbook examples of declining american infrastructure. It's a glaser again. Everyone has an awful experience at
one of them the taken with count about the chaos that J F K can often be. These airports are complicated. They sit on city land, their run by the Port Authority of New York, New Jersey, which answers to two different governors and is responsible for a lot of other things. It is a very big and sprawling agency, has structural problems that almost surely need reform? Probably the airports actually should be split up and made into separate completely separate agencies. None of that reform will occur if the authorities simply gets more ash infusions from Washington. That is a recipe for non reform, not for reform, and there is absolutely no reason Why do you will hailed? Travellers who go in and out of J F K Airport can't pay for that infrastructure themselves. There is absolutely no reason why that infrastructure needs to be subsidized by ordinary taxpayers in any way. So
I'm a hundred percent on board the need for a massive infrastructure over on the? U S! I think, though, that if we go down the route of saying that just means big items in the budget, we go completely the wrong direction. We need to take a hard look at institutional reform. We need to figure out how federal, nudges and Your money can be used in a way that productive, rather than simply a recipe for maintaining the status quo. Talk about that. But the more you wrote a piece for Bloomberg view a few years ago. Called spending won't fix what ails you s infrastructure. You argue that american infrastructure needs quote intelligent reform, not floods of extra financing or quickly, dreams of New moon adventures or high speed rail.
Is to nowhere. So what is intelligent reform in your view and feel free to be both general and specific, so my favorite way of paying for infrastructure other than user fees is with local property taxes or with property development. Even so, Hong Kong's mass transit system funds itself by developing. skyscrapers on top of new subway lines and it manages to keep the fees low because it can do well enough by extracting the value that commuters are willing to pay to be right there. So linking up, I think, in the space of public transit linking up the payments, the developers are willing to pay. Let's say to build very high rise. Buildings near subway starts with funding for the interest, I don't actually want the Americas Transit systems we building skyscrapers on the road, but I'm happy for them to get some flow of tax revenues in exchange for the ability to build higher buildings next to subway stops. That would seem like that. A desirable thing in the case of Rhodes, I think the key is embracing
It was like congestion pricing. Whenever its at all feasible anytime, you build a new highway. You really want to slap a fee on it from the beginning, because this is the sort of political endowment effect that seems to be very strong, which is that, if, if I take a road that free and then slap a charge on it, flapper a toll on it, you know you have rights Straight people are incredibly angry at a political nightmare. If you introduce a new road that has torn from the beginning people, not they made he pleased about it entirely, but I think that that they never saw that road before that road comes with a told. They can accept that. So what role does Glaser see in this? For the federal government? I think actually, the best role for the federal government in infrastructure is actually being the business of inspecting rating local infrastructure projects to check whether the maintenance is good to publicize when the roads and bridges or unsafe, and then perhaps to have federal money. That's targeted not to new projects but specifically to maintenance, perhaps structure.
Matching funds for local monies, so it's a structure in which we think actually having a bit more local buying a little at the beginning is probably helpful, but you inevitably come up against a fundamental budgeting question: how to balance the cost of maintenance with the cost of making new things cost of innovating, unlawful maintenance or more for infrastructure. But I don't think they should be framed as the enemy innovation, Mary Summers. Again, I think we want to be able to produce a new ways we want new products want, This is to organise themselves in new ways? We won't be long. peace in the world that has the most cutting edge science. We want when new uses of software new uses of artificial intelligence or developed. We want them to happen here, so I do believe in a very strong case for infrastructure investment, but I'm gonna be careful about saying that, I'm so how against enough
mission. I think a great nation can walk into gum at the same time, coming up on economics, radio, how innovation and maintenance compete for our money, large public companies in mature Markets tend to invest primarily on maintenance, and often they don't have the additional capital. You need to do large innovation, how innovation and maintenance compete for our time, now with the assumption that technological change had this women's labour so much that they could enter the workforce and took me back three years to discover and I was wrong and I finally get serious about some personal maintenance. It's all about privatisation, one step at a time. innovation resilience agility
it's. How Michigan businesses continue to build the future, our expertise, talented workforce and Reuben adaptability are making a dick and now and shaping the future joined US and make your mark where it matters visit. Michigan Business, DOT, Org, slash radio, to put your plans and motion. That's me again business dot, Org, slash, radio, Ruth Schwartz tone is an historian of science, technology and medicine, I'm retired faculty. From the University of Pennsylvania. Like leaving so and Andy Russell Cowan thinks we put too much emphasis on innovation. They are basically very few, Is there a huge number of maintains and when you start paying attention
till you begin to understand how essential it is. My it has been used to say, and I used to think it was a job, but I think now that he is absolutely right: plumbers around the world and we may kind of resent or dependence on them, in fact that maybe the larger part of why we don't attention, because we really would like to think of ourselves as independent of all of that, but we're not. We are very depend on a lot of people who don't have phds, we're very depend on people. Dont have high school diplomas Cowan has done a lot of research on one particular form of maintenance housework, the name of my as more work for mother, the ironies of household technology, from the open hearth to the microwave. That's right, she found the home inventions that we must have free up. Women from labour often lead to more labour. I started out
the assumption that technological change in the household, mainly the electrification of household, had reduced women's labour so much They could enter the workforce, married women's labor and enter the workforce center, and it took me about three years to discover that I was wrong wrong. Hell, they're, two components of work and one is time, but the other is what we might call metabolic labor and most of a new technologies saved metabolic labor. It was much harder to wash clothing when you doing it by scrubbing the clothing on honest scrubbing board following the water from the stove to whatever vessel you were used to wash the laundered, then it was Do it when you had a washing machine and running water? There's no question about that, but with or more machines to help with chores housewives.
Began to spend more time doing their chores. a whirl America. The standard routine for underwear was that you slept in it a new changed it, maybe a couple of times a year so in the modern, let's say: Post World war, two standard household, Firstly, more wash gets done than in Europe. We have time in history and even for the modern woman or man who does work outside the home, the women who are and men to in some cases who are doing what Sociologists have come to coerce Doubleday they're doing almost as much maintenance work as their grandmothers might have Donald grandfathers might have done if their their fathers were living on farms. They're doing almost as much unpaid maintenance work
as they are paid work by hours. So that's an interesting, perhaps humbling lesson from the past that innovation doesn't necessarily decrease. The time we spend on maintenance, which brings us back to how, we're supposed to pay. I will mean dollars, but in time for the maintenance we need to do, even if we don't want to do it. I think that there can be a false dichotomy when it comes to maintenance. Witches maintenance is required clearly, but in order to effectively do maintenance, I think you need to innovate its Martine Casado he's a general partner with the venture capital firm,
Recent Horwitz wasn't venture capitalists, your looking for opportunities to invest in that you believe, will be large opportunities. I wanted to hear from someone like Casado, because it struck me that if some start up goes to a venture capitalist with some terrible but innovative idea would probably still generate a lot more interest than a start up with an excellent idea that deals with just maintenance, so with crumbling bridges and outdated airports and all the rest and federal government that often can't get out of its own way are the private equity markets really is skewed toward innovation, as I imagined
I think, is a super interesting question. In fact, I think that public markets have done a really good job of factoring in maintenance into its expectations on values of companies. In other words, this one pool of money, including the stock markets, that values maintenance, whether it's for physical infrastructure or increasingly digital infrastructure and there's another pool of money, including that from venture capital firms that seeks out innovation, large public, Companies in mature markets tend to invest primarily on maintenance, and often they don't have the additional capital. You need to do large innovation, Example between, say two thousand, and eleven and two thousand and fifteen grow companies companies that are like fast growing areas spent times more than legacy companies on research and development. So, as companies mature the majority
their investment in the spend is in and of maintaining existing technologies and so forth, and then this is largely because of the pressure from the public markets. so then the way that these kind of legacy enterprises innovate is through inorganic crawl through pay. By often start ups written. So if you look at the same group over the same period using ok, you they say we have a legacy enterprise and the kind of your growth enterprise over the last. You know between, say too eleven and two thousand fifteen legacy enterprises then something like times more about nine times more than the growth enterprises to acquire innovation. So visa part what's happening here. What's happening, is the public market say? and if you are in a mature company, we know that that will keep the lights out. We know that that's what you need to do to get predictable returns and public markets like predictable turns correct. However, there can be another pool of money, and- another ecosystem that can take the risks right
and these are start ups he's like venture capitalists, or we make these very risky investments on these companies. That may be one really successful or not, and it is up to the growth enterprises on whether they want to buy them after this is proven out or not, and I think the pub Market has created this bifurcation nicely in an economic fashion where they're saying yes, we don't want you to hate. In fact, we're gonna keep Europe. Margins fix, you can't, innovate, and so they do invest in what they are currently doing versus the more private start. Upside Casado also points out that, behind all those sexy high tech firms that attract billions of investment dollars, there's a lot of unsexed infrastructure that makes it all possible. Think about like the bricks and mortar of computing near the core. I t infrastructure, which your idea infrastructure as a four trillion dollar market, its massive. Every time you go to Amazon. You are connecting to this massive building. Things like, like football stadium, size, massive building, an inside that building you ve got
tons of storage raise that store the data you ve got tons of computing power. You ve got tons of networking equipment that connects it altogether. You ve got a whole bunch of software that just provides kind of the underpinnings for the application itself. You ve got a basis you ve got security equipment. I mean all of that is infrastructure not often, but once in a while. I take the time to marvel at the fact that so many people do so much work behind the scenes to keep the world humming, whether it's the internet, the roads, electricity grid, you name it course. It's easy to point out the failures, their visible, whereas the bulk of maintenance is practically invisible, but in praise
since, let me just say this necessary work, hard work and for people like me, who are always in a hurry to make the next new thing can be really unappealing work, which means it sometimes need help. So I went out and got some help. I like to think that I'm a fairly orderly person, but my office has become increasingly crowded with a small mountain of files and note books and photos and audiotape and other byproduct from years of writing, making music and so on, and it want to throw it out, but I also didn't want it to become increasingly inaccessible in ever larger mountain. So I sought professional help. We'll tell us more about that. The cynic runs a company in Brooklyn called AV preserve. They help all sorts of institutions manage their archives. They worked with Yale University Museum of Honour, the United Nations and the New York Public Library. Well, first, we did a begin.
Tori to inventoried their audio video unfair holdings? Would we I would, however, how big thousand items how many over eight hundred thousand items- I'm not quite the same league as in Europe, a library, but my desire is similar to maintain a history to make it more organised, more accessible, hopefully more useful. What is the ideal outcome of this project that you envision? They want every I've ever documented created, I kind of want it preserved with differing degrees of accessibility. You know Memory is just so narrow and incomplete and bad that when I think about What I've done or written about or reported on in the past and not written about. I remembered them so incompletely so poorly,
that. I think it would be really nice to have that preserved. For who knows whatever reasons I want all of that easily and instantly accessible, but I want that point of accessibility to bees. oh easy that everything going forward from today, I can put in the appropriate basket without a choir, mountains, weather the goal or virtual that have to be sorted later, Second, the ultimate vision be able to find everything easily inaccessible. What if we think about that as the ultimate outcome, Eliza there's a lot of steps in between there, and here we look at this project as phase one rights that the first steps do you have any thoughts on? What the outcome of this phase it. What's what what defined success for you, it's gonna. We finish this meeting like twenty minutes and you say I'll, be back tomorrow, I'll take
everything and then make next Monday. You'll have a hard drive where everything is there? That's that's I mean you asked be realistic now I know: that's not what you asked what's Maya, but I was re read me: ok, so Christless cynic persuade me. Wasn't it be so easy, but he started helping me draw up a plan in rights who this is maintenance of losing the two hundred pounds and then stay that way, and he said it wasn't a scary, as I thought I'm sure, fills though it has not twenty it's about privatisation, one step at a time, and so we ve begun with cynic and Colleagues are doing most of the hard work enumerating measuring the amounts of different media category, using by media paper, audiotape, digital audio, etc, and then, eventually, I sit down with them file box by File Box,
in figure out whether and how to preserve a particular thing and how to make it live in a place where I can visit it whenever I want the key for me is one thing: the cynics said: it's all about prioritization, one step at a time, one step at a time, increment, increment and so inspired by this advice. We keep the conversation going on the next episode of economics. Radio, it is called in praise of incrementally we'll talk about the small steps necessary to make big changes from the evolution of renaissance. part. You know you can really see each innovation in each painting on each step along the way, the piecemeal process to the civil rights movement, if followed an incremental pattern more clear,
than any other social movement, because the hand of a c p control and can incremental ism help. You win the tour de France, probably not, but it can contribute its next time on finance rating thanks you listening fr economics? Radio is produced by w when my c studios and W productions this episode was produced by Herbert Ganja. Our staff also includes Jake how its merit Jacob Christopher Worth Gregg results, be no a furnace, Alison, Hockenberry, Emma Morgenstern and Harry Huggins. You can subscribe to this progress on Itunes wherever you get your broadcasts and please come visit for economics. Dot com we'll find our entire podcast archive, along with the complete
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Transcript generated on 2021-01-24.